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An ‘Undo’ Government
Party leaders Yair Lapid, Naftali Bennett, and Mansour Abbas sign coalition agreement, June 2, 2021. (Ra'am-United Arab List)

An ‘Undo’ Government

Israel Hayom, Israel, September 5

Russia’s announcement that its defense systems succeeded in intercepting missiles fired at Syria (in the attack attributed to Israel) reveals a new low point in Israel’s security situation. This concerning reality isn’t a product of random deterioration in our deterrence, but rather a direct product of the new government, which seeks to undo everything (Prime Minister Binyamin) Netanyahu achieved. In the US, the president’s authority to impose various presidential directives (especially executive orders) has become one of the means of announcing a change of government. When a new president enters the White House, he signs a series of such decisions. The Biden administration, for example, stood out with a record number of such decisions: 17 on the first day, and 39 by the end of the first week – reversing the Trump administration’s policies. In Israel, the government that presented itself as “10 degrees to the right of Netanyahu,” is quickly turning out to be the undo government for any right-wing policy implemented in the last decade. One of (Prime Minister Naftali) Bennett’s first changes was the destruction of the alliance with the Visegrád Group: Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Countries with which Netanyahu worked hard to create a strong alliance that would provide an alternative to the hostility of some EU countries to Israel. And so, on top of the highly publicized conflict with Poland, we’re also witnessing things like the deputy foreign minister of the European Union attending the inauguration of the new president of Iran. Similarly, we’re seeing the weakening of the status of the Abraham Agreements. At first it was (Foreign Minister Yair) Lapid, who said Trump promoted the agreements to avoid dealing with the Palestinians. Later it was Karin Elharrar, who explained that she did not see any energy benefit in the agreement with the United Arab Emirates on oil sales. This was accompanied by a general discourse that these peace agreements are secondary to relations with neighboring countries, such as Jordan and Egypt, and with the Palestinian Authority. It is no coincidence that Bennett’s visit to Jordan, which involved giving up water rights to Jordan and declaring his support for the Palestinians, was presented as an achievement. If the Abraham Agreements symbolized the end of the “Palestinians first” era and an understanding of the importance of the moderate alliance in the struggle against Iran, then all of this has faded. And here, more than a decade later, the Israeli government returns to Ramallah. Gantz meets with Abu Mazen, and soon enough we can expect to see a peace summit. Gulf states – out; Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority – in. Of most concern, of course, is the policy toward Iran. Netanyahu’s “theory of pressure” became the “theory of containment.” Bennett already promised the US administration a policy of “zero surprises,” in which the continued Iranian aggression in our region will be met with silence on Israel’s side. It turns out, therefore, that the reversal of Netanyahu’s legacy in such a short time is unfortunate proof that the struggle against Netanyahu the man was only a means to replace, not to mention destroy, his policies and the policies of the entire right-wing camp. – Limor Samimian-Darash (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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